I have heard it many times before... "I am horrible at yoga" or "I am not flexible, therefore I don't do yoga". Sadly, these reasons only perpetuate the problems that come along with losing mobility. Clubbell Yoga has crept up into the industry as a solution for those who lack the natural flexibility to be "good at Yoga", and this article will give you 4 ways to start taking action on getting better at Yoga stat!
[UPCOMING Seminars in Denver and New York City here] -VIP registration ends 4/4, and 4/15.
ACTION 1: Get your joint mobility going asap.
When you mobilize your joints prior to practicing yoga, you will be able to access deeper range of motion (ROM) in all areas. Increase synovial fluid, increase heat, activate more motor units and synch your breath with your movement. Here are a couple of easy videos you can follow.
Intuflow on the Beach in Hawaii
Chest Opener Flow for Tight Upper Back
Action 2: Change your perception of training mobility.
It doesn't always have to be a stretch and hold (and often grimace in discomfort) situation. There are many other ways to train dynamic mobility, including moving in and out of yoga poses bearing load, as many of our Clubbell Yoga conditioning drills do. Check out a FREE 90X30 Clubbell Yoga workout here. When you train a transition, under load, accessing stabilizer muscles and re-enforcing good alignment with the Clubbell, your nervous system registers that new ROM. What you are left with are stronger, more aligned yoga poses.
Don't Miss our next dual Clubbell Yoga & FlowFit seminars in Denver CO this June 2-5th! Learn directly from Summer Huntington, the founder of this system.
ACTION 3: Practice Sun Salutations daily.
Yep. You wanna get good at Yoga? Sun Salutation A and Sun Salutation B are the cornerstones of learning how to flow with breath, a big part of yoga. A wise teacher once said, "Yoga is 99% practice and 1% theory." This couldn't be more true, and by taking action on the basic sun salutations, you will overcome any fears or self limiting beliefs of being bad at yoga. Try doing 3 of each as your wake up, or even a warm-up before a workout.
BONUS: Sun Salutation A is geared toward increasing hamstring and low back flexibility, while Sun Salutation B is geared toward increasing hip flexor flexibility. These are the three most common inflexible regions for beginning yogis.
ACTION 4: Start Loading your Yoga poses with a Clubbell.
In our signature awaken, condition, practice method we always end with a loaded yoga sequence, to re-enforce the alignment and muscle activation in the yoga asana. When you can bear a small load in a yoga pose, your musculoskelatal system and nervous system work together to create a map of what "good alignment" feels like.
BONUS ACTION 5 - Practice our online program Primal 12 with Friends weekly
Creating a dedicated and consistent weekly time to explore a new practice is a surefire way to succeed. Having the accountability, the motivation, and the freedom to play your own music and work together makes it fun and exciting. Many students use Primal 12, which includes 12 workouts and 12 matching flows, to get "good at yoga". And it works! The total program is $99, with 57 videos and tutorials, its a serious steal.
Sometimes I feel like I am an undercover agent at my Clubbell Yoga seminars... like I am bringing the ‘yoga secrets’ to movement specialists from “the other side” i.e. the lifters. My most recent London seminar actually had the most yoga teachers in attendance to date, so I got to flip my usual role and teach them about how to strengthen the power poses with Clubbell Yoga conditioning. Everyone practices in harmony in a Clubbell Yoga class, working toward a common goal - being both strong AND flexible. Even though I welcome the yogis to practice, they have most definitely not welcomed me... Yogis often times don't believe that Clubbell Yoga is real yoga. After reading this article, you can decide if it is or isn't.
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Some yogis focus a ton on flexibility, some focus a ton on arm balance. The unfortunate result of overspecializing in those picture perfect poses is that the stress placed on the joints is cumulative, and eventually can lead to an overuse injury. I am always sad to hear a big ‘instagram yoga star’ get injured. It happens a lot. Yogis famous for handstands commonly suffer from injured wrists. Ashtanga yogis with injured shoulders. Deep backbending yogis with injured discs. If you follow any ‘instagram yoga stars’ you will eventually see what I am talking about. Injury can lead to depression, especially if you place a high value on your physical performance, which is another common thread amongst these high level acrobatic type yogis.
People seem to have this belief that injury is inevitable, or that everyone gets injured eventually. Being injured is Normal, right? Wrong! The truth is that being really physically active or even a competitive athlete does increase risk of injury, but there is a lot we can do to prevent overtraining. The first and most obvious solution is cross-training for your sport in a way that compliments the movements and energy systems utilized in a sport. Loaded Clubbell Yoga poses is a perfect example of how we can create an sport specific adaptation to yoga asana.
Since very few yogis are open to this idea of strength training with Clubbells, we are creating a new bread of yogis. My speculation on why no yoga studios have shown any interest in Clubbell Yoga is probably due to one of two reasons:
#1: “It ain’t real yoga”
Perhaps it is because there is no specific lineage to trace CBY back to (though it is a culmination of many ancient disciplines including various martial arts techniques, and even Indian Clubs which came from India). Since the system wasn’t directly from BKS, Patthabi Jois ... it immediately loses validity amongst the yoga crowd. I take no offense, just noting what I have seen over the past three years of teaching it around the world.
#2 “It is too focused on the workout, not enough on the spirituality of yoga.”
Or maybe due to a limited amount of spiritual dogma presented in classes. We choose to let the practice speak for itself, and honestly don’t have a ton of extra time to spend on spiritual lessons. Though we may go to other classes for that, or practice meditation on our own... we focus on the biomechanics of yoga, the progression of poses, flowstate and yoga coaching to make sure everyone in a room is safe and injury free.
Once the body is strong, then the mind starts to change. Many people who start with Clubbell Yoga become very proficient in the poses and even start to like conventional yoga classes. Unfortunately, many of the old teachings tell people to practice yoga everyday, even at the sake of their discs or predisposed injury risk. Back in the day when those manuals and teachings were written, we didn’t have desk jobs and iphones pulling our posture extremely out of alignment, putting us at risk for injury in a yoga class. We also didn’t have as deep of an understanding of biomechanics, fascia and performance. As a yogi, I see the importance of cross training, and I even use www.primal12.com to make sure I train for my sport... yoga.
A wise man builds a strong foundation first, then starts building a house. A fool builds a house with no foundation, only to see it crumble at the first sign of stress. Your body is no different, you must build a strong foundation to take your practice deeper. Clubbell Yoga aims to build a foundation of dynamic flexibility, and contrary to some people’s assumptions, it doesn’t aim to replace other lineages of yoga. Strong is the new sexy. See you in the non-Yoga Journal! Oh wow, I think I just found a new niche magazine... Non-Yoga Journal - for alternative mind body exercise. Let's do it.
Engaged in the movement toward more functional fitness. Mama, entrepreneur, leader, mentor, and co-creator of Clubbell Yoga.
Co-Creator of Clubbell Yoga, Movement & Performance Specialist, Head Coach at RMAX International